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Should you buy up first and second class stamps?

Should you buy up first and second class stamps?

Category: Money

Updated: 01/05/2014
First Published: 12/04/2012

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

The price of postage is going up with effect from the end of April 2012.

Buying first and second class stamps before the prices rise could save you a sizeable amount, particularly if you have a large list to send to at Christmas, or for a forthcoming occasion such as a wedding.

First class and second class stamps will remain useable after the end of April, even if they were bought at the old price:

Current price
(until end of April)

New price
First class stamp 46p 60p
Second class stamp 36p 50p

If you normally send 50 Christmas cards first class, the new prices will add £7 to your postage bill. If you are sending out wedding invitations to 100 guests, then thank you cards as well – even by second class – the new prices could add £28 to your postage bill.

Is it worth buying stamps now?

The price of stamps is unlikely to go down. Royal Mail's costs are only likely to go one way: up. While the recently announced price rises might mean that Royal Mail won't raise the price again for a little while, it's difficult to envisage it lowering them.

In 2011 the price of a first class stamp went up from 41p to 46p, with second class stamps going up from 32p to 36p. With a price rise in April 2012 too, maybe the best we can hope for is a price freeze in April 2013…

So for the sake of buying your stamps a little earlier, you may be able to save yourself a significant amount of money.

Do you receive state benefits?

Royal Mail has pledged to keep stamps for Christmas 2012 at current prices for those receiving certain state benefits. You are eligible to buy up to three books of 12 stamps in a single purchase from a Post Office if you are in receipt of:

  • Pension credit
  • Employment and support allowance
  • Incapacity benefit

You will need to provide proof of your benefit entitlement when you buy your stamps.

What next?

More tips

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.

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